Secondary Care

First robotic recruit into international clinical trial

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has recruited the first robotic patient into an international clinical trial. The trial aims to improve the outcomes of patients having minimally invasive surgery for rectal cancer.

When undergoing rectal cancer surgery, there is the potential for a leak from where two parts of the bowel have joined; called an anastomotic leak. This is a result of surgery where a piece of bowel containing the cancer is removed and joined back together, but does not heal properly. The IntAct study aims to identify whether new technology could help to reduce this potentially life-threatening complication.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has recruited the very first robotic case to the IntAct study and is currently the only robotic site contributing to the robotic arm of the study. After conducting the first robotic operation using the daVinci Xi robotic system on the 3rd May 2017, the daVinci Xi robot based at Royal Preston Hospital has gone from strength to strength over the year it has been operating.

The robot has been hugely successful in improving outcomes for cancer patients throughout Lancashire and south Cumbria, and leading to quicker recovery. Lancashire Teaching Hospitals have performed a huge 248 robotic procedures using this robot over its first year.

The robot provides a three dimensional view and the ‘wristed’ instruments allow much greater control and care of tissues, making it much easier for our surgeons to access parts of the body that are difficult to reach, and undertake complex procedures using keyhole incisions rather than open surgery, reducing the risk of complications and enabling a speedier recovery.

Mr Peristerakis, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “We are delighted to have established one of the best performing robotic colorectal units in the UK and proud to be currently the only robotic unit contributing to a high profile international study (IntAct). Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is heavily investing in research and innovation and with the help of our NIHR Clinical Research Facility and our truly committed research team; we are able to contribute to the development of ground-breaking treatments for our patients.

“To be able to combine robotic surgery with clinical trials is an exciting opportunity and a first for our Clinical Research Facility. We look forward to seeing the results of this trial.”